To produce the “Sweet Red” Paarl Fairview, the hand-picked bunches were destemmed, crushed and the juice was fermented for 3 to 4 days, during which time maximum colour and flavour extraction was achieved. The wine was then pressed off the skins and fortified with brandy spirit to stop the alcoholic fermentation. It was matured in old French oak barrels for approximately 18 months before bottling. The sweetness results from halting the fermentation before all of the natural grape sugars have been converted to alcohol.
The Petite Sirah and Tempranillo grapes were harvested from the Fairview vineyards on the slopes of Mount Paarl. The vines are trellised and planted on decomposed granite soils.
Fairview is situated on the lower slopes of Mount Paarl, which is more sheltered from the moderating maritime influence than nearby Stellenbosch. Vines were planted here as early as 1699. The property was bought by the grandfather of current owner Charles Back in 1937. Fairview has a reputation for consistent quality across a range of innovative styles, using both classic and unusual varieties, and leads the field in South Africa in matching varieties to specific sites. The Fairview estate now has a total of 680 hectares of vineyard over four appellations: Paarl (350 hectares), Swartland (155 hectares), Darling (140 hectares) and Stellenbosch (35 hectares). This vineyard ownership in so many different regions allows Charles to produce a wide range of wines, from grapes grown in optimal conditions. In 2014, Charles received a lifetime achievement award from the International Wine Challenge.